‘Pakistan, WB ink $918m accord’-aiming to increase tax to GDP

Pakistan and World Bank (WB) inked three loan agreements worth $918 million. Country Director WB, Patchamuthu Illangovan and Economic Affairs Division Secretary, Noor Ahmed signed document while Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh witnessed signing of accord.
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Later, WB Country Director held a meeting with Dr Sheikh, who thanked Bank “for extending continuous support to Pakistan’s government in its efforts to achieve sustainable economic development of country.”

The programme is aimed at contributing to a sustainable increase in domestic revenue by broadening tax base and facilitating compliance, officials of Economic Affairs Division said.

It is hoped that programme would increase Pakistan’s tax to Gross Domestic Product ratio to 17 percent, increase number of active taxpayers to 3.5 million, reduce the compliance burden of paying taxes and improve efficiency of Customs controls.

In addition, development objective of programme is to “support research in strategic sectors of economy, improve teaching and learning and strengthening governance in the higher education sector.”

The finances would be used towards nurturing academic excellence in strategic sectors, supporting decentralised higher education institutes for improved teaching and learning, equipping students and higher education institutions with modern technology, higher education management information system and data drive services and capacity building, project management and monitoring and evaluation.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Revenue Mobilisation and Resource Management Program’ worth $118 million is expected to increase collection of KP’s own revenue and improve management of public resources.

This objective is to be achieved through efficient revenue mobilisation, public resource management and capacity building to enhance e-government functionality, officials were of the view.

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